The review introduces the reader to the book of the Israeli sociologist Orna Donath “Regretting Motherhood: A Study”.
The review introduces the reader to the book of the Israeli sociologist Orna Donath “Regretting Motherhood: A Study”.
Russia has been characterized by an early and universal marriage for a long time. After the Soviet Union collapse, the average ages for marriage have been rising, marital unions have becoming rarer while cohabitations have becoming common because of changes in norms and values that citizens of many other countries witnessed several decades before. Many scholars have observed this trend and tried to explain its reasons through the perspective of the Second Demographic Transition and Globalization theories. Current research is another attempt to understand these changes. The aim of this research was to define the nature of cohabitations in Russia, and find out the factors of entrance to non-marital unions. For these purposes, we used Event History Analysis and Sequence Analysis. The key requirement in using these methods is applying longitudinal or retrospective collections of data that have become the gold standard of current quantitative social science. Accordingly, the three-wave panel data of the Russian part of “Generations and Gender Survey” and the retrospective data of “Person, Family, Society” were chosen for this study. The opposite trends of matrimonial behavior were revealed: the younger Russian people are, the higher their probabilities to start the first cohabitation and the lower their risks to have the first marriage. Cohabitation is not a complete alternative to marriage in our country yet, but the proportion of Russians, for whom cohabitation does not grow into a marriage, rises, and young people start to consider a non-marital union appropriate for childbearing. It is a sign that cohabitation is close to become an independent social institution for young non-religious people who get secondary vocational education in big cities.
The paper is based on the results of an empirical study of media communities (public pages and online groups) of Moscow districts. The study aims at describing the community moderators’ practices as well as formal and substantive features of the online publications. Nonstandardized (indepth) interviews and content analysis method are used in the study. One of specific features of Moscow districts’ public pages and communities is that they were created due to the increased demand of a group of city inhabitants for the implementation of social projects and the principle of their «right to the city» and also in the absence of official online activities of the local administration resulted from a low level of adaptability of municipalities to innovative communication practices. In this situation, the representatives of authorities prefer to stay incognito in the established communities; they use intermediaries specializing in modern communication technologies and pretending to be media activists and consider this communicative strategy to be more effective so far. The authors describe the main tasks the online communities’ moderators have to tackle as well as topics and other features of the published content.
The present paper opera tionalizes one of the oldest concepts in the sociological literature about social stratification. Although the concept of life chances is well studied, its opera tionalization for purposes of stratification studies is not a trivial task, which needs a broader and deeper discussion. To fill this gap in the literature, the author con siders life chances in terms of Weber’s idea of positive and negative privileges. The author proposes a bipolar ‘map’ of life chances in key areas of life such as economic conditions, work situation, human capital accumulation, and consumption and leisure activities.
The article discusses the present condition and future prospects of the development of social servicing in Russia after the coming into force of the Federal Law No. 442 (dated December 22, 2013). The focus of the study is an ambiguous character of the reform and the related consequences. Administra‑ tive decentralization and delegation of power to regions according to this law is driven by the tasks set by the govern‑ ment for the stakeholders. The reforms are designed to change the logic of the provision of social services: clients, mainly female clients, would become customers, and former monopolists, state social services, would become one of the providers of social services which should interact with each other on a competitive basis. However due to high independence of regions in inter‑ pretation of the law provisions it is rather difficult to assess the degree of changes and quality improvements in social ser‑ vicing. The authors provide an analysis of empirical qualitative survey conducted in a central region in Russia (Nizhny Novgo‑ rod). Using the data of semi‑standardized interviews with the stakeholders involv‑ ing in the implementation of the Federal Law no. 442 the authors discuss the key topics unveiling the specifics of the ongoing changes and explain the future prospects. 127МОНИТОРИНГ ОБЩЕСТВЕННОГО МНЕНИЯ № 4 (152) Июль — аВГуСТ 2019 И. А. Григорьева, И. Л. Сизова, А. Ю. Москвина ГОСУДАРСТВО И ОБЩЕСТВО Переосмысление места и роли пожилых людей в обществе привело к понима‑ нию необходимости решения актуальных проблем этой социально‑возрастной группы. Но весь период деятельности современной российской власти она произ‑ водила противоречивые импульсы, а стратегические цели социального развития The findings of the study reveal restric‑ tions concerning clients’ freedom of choice and an attempt to turn the clients into active users of social services. Other restrictions include pursuit of massive involvement and high numbers of clients, increase of costs of services, refusal to participate in competition and strive to maintain the status‑quo. The authors conclude that the fundamental princi‑ ples of social services such as targeting of provision of services and reciprocity will not be implemented in Russia. In order to reform social support services for the elderly it is essential to employ the resources of clients and to build a system of interactions between the state, private and public sectors.
During the last decades, people from the developed countries have been postponing the occurring of the important events marking a transition to adulthood. The age of completion of education and the age of entry into the labor market are important social and economic indicators of such transition. There are some evidences of appearance of the same process in Russia (Dmitriev, Maleva, and Sinyavska, 2009). Under the influence of economic, demographic, political and social changes of the 1990th, life courses of the Russians became more opened and flexible. The integrated studying of this phenomenon is impossible without application of the modern concepts and methods of analysis. The present article aims to introduce the life course concept and its main terms. There are also some empirical examples of the usage of the cutting-edge methods of the life course analysis made on the data of quantitative sociological studies.
Mixed methods research is ‘trendy’ in the Western sociological community. It became popular in recent years; however, this approach has not been conceptualized in the Russian sociological school. The paper is devoted to the activity of the «Mixed Methods» Research and Study Group (RSG) that worked at the National Research Institute Higher School of Economics in 2014—2016 and acted in fact as the first interdisciplinary platform to discuss the opportunities and perspectives of this sociological method. The author touches upon the evolution of the mixed methods strategy, the use of proper terminology, pays attention to ethical issues that the social scientists using this tool face and describes the basic results of the work of the RSG.
The paper describes a recent study aimed at investigating the most efficient data imputation algorithm for several methods of data analysis such as regression modeling, factor analysis, descriptive statistics, and correlation analysis. The lack of recommendations when choosing the data imputation algorithm poses the problem of choice ambiguity in each situation.
The authors consider that the data imputation algorithm should be selected according to the method employed after data improvement. In other words, it is believed that for each data analysis method the efficiency of the same data imputation algorithm is different. The statistical experiment was used to evaluate the efficiency of several data imputation algorithms for each method of data analysis.
The core idea of statistical experiment was to compare the results of each method application used in the etalon data set (without missing values) with the results obtained on a large number of artificial subsamples generated from the original data set where missing values were filed with comparable data imputation algorithms.
Generation of subsamples was carried out via the bootstrap procedure, which allowed to undertake
statistical evaluation and to build confidence intervals for each parameter before and after the data imputation.
Through this experiment the authors managed to evaluate the efficiency of such data imputation algorithms as imputation with the average trend measures, the EM algorithm, the imputation via regression model and Hot Deck algorithm for the mentioned methods of data analysis.
A sea change in the differentiation of moral views happened in the mid-1990s while the differences between the measurements in 1999 and 2008 are far less dramatic. The differentiation of judgements concerning homosexuality and euthanasia proceded consequentially in 1990-2008. Most equally distributed and in Russia and Belarus are the judgements about the abortion and divorce. Only the views on suicide have not changed since 1990. The changes in moral views among the population of Eastern Europe resulted in the individualization of the views on the traditionally disapproved social phenomena. However, substantial differences remain, even between the culturally close countries. A more detailed treatment of this process requires a comparison of the moral values in private life and social life (e.g. tax paying, briberies) and cohort analysis of moral views in Eastern Europe.
The paper considers different approaches to the factor analysis (FA) for ordinal data. In some studies it is necessary to find a latent variable behind the observed indicators measured on an ordinal scale. Classical factor analysis cannot be applied to those indicators as it is built on the Pearson correlation coefficient which is only applicable to interval variables. So the researcher faces a choice: to treat the ordinal variables as the interval ones, to dichotomize ordinal variables or to use special techniques for ordinal indicators such as replacing the correlation matrix or using Categorical principal components analysis (CatPCA). The study is based on a theoretical comparison of assumptions that underpin the algorithms of each applications and a statistical experiment and provides an answer to the question which of the above-mentioned factorization approaches is optimal for indentifying latent variables measured by ordinal indicators on a 3-point, 5-point or 10-point scale.
Abstract. Various Russian monitoring studies record low level of public trust in noncommercial organizations. Simultaneously, how those organizations whose operations directly depend on donations tackle the problem of public trust is lacking attention. This paper presents the results of an empirical study to examine the activities of charitable foundations which depend upon public donations. Through a series of expert interviews three main fundraising strategies were defined. The author highlights that low institutional trust may be compensated by the personal trust in a leader and/or an employee of the foundation as well as by high levels of transparency and raising awareness about foundation`s activities. Each strategy is different in terms of tools to collect donations,levels of interaction with the donors and a basis of trust.
The Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation” which came into force in 2013 made postgraduate studies the third cycle studies. This marked the beginning of the transition to structured postgraduate programs. Despite the fact that this transition mirrors global trends, returning to the old Soviet model is currently widely discussed. The article explores the opinions of academic supervisors on a model that would best suit Russian contemporary higher education. Two postgraduate education models are under discussion: a “mentorship” model which corresponds to the pre-2012 Russian postgraduate education and a model of “structured programs” which differ in terms of three main characteristics: (1) academic workload; (2) tracking postgraduate student progress; (3) skills acquired. The study is based on a mixed design: semi-structured interviews and online survey were used to collect data. Academic supervisors were asked about an ideal postgraduate system based on the four listed characteristics. A total of 24 semi-structured interviews were conducted, and 166 academic supervisors from two Russian universities were surveyed. Results reveal heterogeneity in opinions. Most of respondents either consider that an ideal postgraduate education would combine both the features of the “mentorship” model and the features of the “structured programs” model or fail to be clear about what kind of model would best suit Russian postgraduate education. Such findings may be related to “anomy” in today’s Russian postgraduate training. This anomy results from unfinished transition period and uncertain strategic priorities of the Russian postgraduate education.
International student admission allows not only to universally popularize Russian education but also to replenish human capital assets at an easy rate and to solve the problem of demographic pit at the expense of fresh graduates willing to permanently move to Russia after their graduation. The CIS states are currently the main source of enrollees willing to obtain higher education in Russia. The paper specifies the differences in socio-demographic characteristics and value orientations of those students who want to move permanently to Russia, to get back to their home country or to move permanently to any other country. Based on the survey involving 262 students from the CIS countries studying in the Moscow universities, the study shows that students with different migration intentions have substantial differences in value orientations according to the Schwartz Value Survey data; they also differ by their socio-demographic characteristics such as parents’ education level, household income and national identity.
The article examines how Russian students think about and engage with digital self-tracking technologies (mobile apps, wearable fitness trackers, smartwatches), which collect biometric and behavioral data. It presents the results of reflexive thematic analysis of students’ essays on the topic. What meanings of self-tracking are foregrounded in these works? How do students describe their experience of using self-tracking technologies? How is digital future envisioned and how is a futurological discourse of self-tracking constructed in these essays? The research has shown that self-tracking can be conceptualized as a “value-based”, “corporeal”, “social” and “technological” phenomenon. Virtually all students have certain experience of self-tracking, however, some of them attempt to limit it or have given it up for a number of reasons. Based on students’ stories (both from current and former users), the author suggests a tentative distinction between three styles of digital self-tracking: “gamer”, “manager” and “transformer”. For a “gamer” it is the thrill, enjoyment and the sense of novelty that matters. “Managers” aim at bringing order into their life and “thoughts”. “Transformers” wish to change themselves radically, at both the body and psyche levels. In reality any self-tracker combines all the three roles, but one of them is likely to dominate. In the students’ opinion, the existing self-tracking technologies cannot create a strong motivation for self-optimization, but in the future their effectiveness may increase. Some of the essays develop a dystopian discourse of self-tracking, pointing out a number of issues, such as: the use of personal data for corporate benefit, a prospect of coercive self-tracking (and total control), the transformation of social practices and institutions under the influence of “digital doubles”. Admitting the inevitability of further technological development, the essays’ authors emphasize that it is necessary to critically evaluate the possible consequences and risks of human beings’ and social life’s “datafication”